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weekly_rounds_february_21_2020_positive_action_on_wsma_priority_billsWeekly Rounds: February 21, 2020 - Positive Action on WSMA Priority BillsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_february_21_2020_positive_action_on_wsma_priority_bills<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>February 21, 2020</h5> <h2>Positive Action on WSMA Priority Bills</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p> One of my sons is in a new relationship, and when my husband and I inquired about the young woman's name he said, "I don't want to tell you, it may jinx it." I get it...I feel the same way about what's happening in Olympia, including an effort to raise Medicaid primary care rates. We are pleased to see at least some interest in raising Medicaid reimbursement for a segment of our membership and I'm hesitant to talk much about it for fear of jinxing it. </p> <p> Even so, it's news that's just too good not to share. As you read in last week's <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/lawmakers_in_olympia_open_door_to_medicaid_reimbursement_increase?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=1XeW6">Membership Memo</a>, for the first time in several years there is serious interest and momentum to implement a Medicaid reimbursement increase that would apply to all primary care services. </p> <p> Sen. David Frockt (D-North Seattle) introduced <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6676</a> and it was co-sponsored by 26 members of the Senate. This bill would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services by at least 15% and for certain pediatric services by at least 21%, effective Jan. 1, 2021, and is expected to increase Medicaid reimbursement statewide by an estimated $65 million per year. SB 6676 passed out of the Senate unanimously this week and now heads over to the House. We have heard indications from House health care leadership that the House is planning on making an investment in Medicaid reimbursement in its budget as well. We will keep you appraised on this. </p> <p> These discussions in Olympia are a positive first step toward meaningful increases in Medicaid reimbursement rates and would, in part, help mitigate the effect of the business and occupation (B&O) tax increase on our independent physician practices. <strong>We also believe this will set us up to advocate for broader investments in specialty care in the coming years.</strong> It is imperative that legislators fund fair Medicaid reimbursements to facilitate practice viability and access to care for patients. Stay tuned for more information as SB 6676 makes its way through the Legislature—and be on the lookout for calls to action on the issue. </p> <p> In other news, thus far, we've seen good movement on WSMA priority bills, including the unanimous passage in the houses of origin of the prior authorization bill, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6404</a>, which imposes transparency requirements on insurer prior authorization practices and creates a work group to promote standardization, and the credentialing bill, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1552&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1552</a>, which generally provides for retroactive reimbursement for services provided while a physician's credentialing application is pending. </p> <p> Coupled with the telemedicine payment parity bill that <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/legislative_session_week_five_highlights?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=5XeW6">passed the Senate last week</a>, our legislative agenda is generally in good shape with all our priority bills still alive and constituting significant wins if passed into law. </p> <p> Wednesday was a key deadline for the state legislative session that also saw two bills WSMA opposes fail to advance: one that would have expanded scope of practice for naturopaths and another that would have expanded "qui tam" liability for physician practices and other businesses. While nothing is truly dead while legislators are still meeting in Olympia, these are also tentatively big wins for the house of medicine. Thank you to all everyone who responded to our calls to action. </p> <p> As you know, in spite of aggressive opposition from the WSMA and our members on the B&O tax surcharge, legislators saw fit to keep their earlier promise to fund higher education, considering that to be a more pressing concern than exempting independent physician practices from the increase. That said, SB 6492, as signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last week, does reflect some improvement in the B&O tax policy, such as applying the increase at a lower rate of 1.75% (rather than 1.8%), exempting businesses that gross less than $1 million, and postponing implementation by four months. </p> <p> While not all that we'd hoped for, that is still helpful for many of our members and is a direct result of WSMA advocacy efforts. Our advocacy gains were accomplished thanks to the tenacious efforts of our team in Olympia, in addition to the presence of many of our members who went to Olympia to speak directly to legislators. </p> <p> With no physicians or physician assistants in the Legislature, it's more important than ever that we bring the physician perspective to their attention. We've done that—and are doing that—effectively this session. In addition to WSMA staff, many physicians have testified during session this year—and that really does make a difference on legislative decisions that relate to the profession and to the patients we serve (our <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/5729481">Doctors Making a Difference video series</a> captures some of this physician testimony). </p> <p> All of these various advocacy efforts are critical, so I hope you're planning to join us at our <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=7XeW6">WSMA Legislative Summit</a> next Tuesday. We're nearly at capacity, but if you can make it, we'd love to see you. There's still time to <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=7XeW6">pre-register online today</a> or you can register at the event itself, which is free for WSMA members. Bring your white coat because nothing says physician or PA like that visual! We want to "take the Hill" in full force, so please join us. </p> <p> I also want to say thank you to all of you who have already renewed your membership in the WSMA this year. And if you haven't yet joined or renewed, please take a moment to do so right now <a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/WSMA/Membership/Join_Renew/Join_Renew.aspx?hkey=37a820cf-9d05-4812-b9dd-c29b9a75356d">online at wsma.org</a>, by calling 206.441.9762, or by email at <a href="mailto:membership@wsma.org">membership@wsma.org</a>. You belong with us! </p> </div>2/21/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
legislative_session_week_five_highlightsLegislative Session Week Five HighlightsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/legislative_session_week_five_highlights<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>February 19, 2020</h5> <h2>Legislative Session Week Five Highlights</h2> <p>The fiscal cutoff deadline was Tuesday, Feb. 11 - which means that the fiscal committees in both chambers had late nights last Monday and Tuesday with public hearings on over 50 bills. The next cutoff deadline is today, Feb. 19, when bills need to be voted out of their originating chamber to continue through the legislative process. As always, bills deemed necessary to implement the budget are not subject to these deadlines.</p> <p>Both the House and Senate have until 5 p.m. to meet today's deadline.</p> <h3>Legislative session week five (Feb. 10-14): Health care highlights</h3> <p>The WSMA is happy to report that all of our priority bills continue to move through the legislative process. Here is a quick look at the status of our priority legislation:</p> <p><strong>Prior authorization –</strong> SB 6404, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6404 would require insurance carriers to submit certain information related to prior authorization practices to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and would establish a work group to review prior authorization standards and to make recommendations to promote standardization and improvement of prior authorization processes. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 11. WSMA's Government Affairs Director Sean Graham testified in support.</p> <p><strong>Telemedicine payment parity –</strong> SB 5385, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 5385 would generally require payment for services delivered via telemedicine to be on par with the rate paid for in-person visits. This bill passed the Senate floor on Feb. 13 by a vote of 45-2.</p> <p><strong>Primary care Medicaid reimbursement</strong> – SB 6676, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6676 would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services by at least 15%, and for certain pediatric services by at least 21%, effective Jan. 1, 2021. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10 and the committee approved the bill on Feb. 11. WSMA's Government Affairs Director Sean Graham testified in support.</p> <h3>Other priority issues heard during week five (Feb. 10-14)</h3> <p><strong>Sales tax exemption for breast pumps and related accessories</strong> <strong>–</strong> HB 2927, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>House Bill 2927 would create a sales tax exemption for breast pumps and related supplies, effective July 1, 2020. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Finance on Feb. 10.</p> <p><strong>International medical graduates –</strong> SB 6551, <em>WSMA supports with concerns</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6551 would create a work group to make recommendations to the Washington Medical Commission regarding ways to integrate international medical graduates into Washington's health care delivery system and would allow for a hardship waiver for certain IMGs who cannot provide all necessary documentation due to circumstances outside of their control. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10. WSMA's contract lobbyist Katie Kolan, JD, testified expressing general support for working to integrate IMGs into our state's health care system with the caveat that WSMA will oppose any policies that would have the effect of lowering the bar to be licensed as a physician and practice medicine in our state.</p> <p><strong>Persons with SUD –</strong> SB 6311</p> <p>Senate Bill 6311 would direct the Health Care Authority to prepare a gap analysis and implementation plan pertaining to delivery of substance use disorder treatment services, including an analysis of workforce needs and proposals to provide the needed level of service. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 11.</p> <p><strong>Naloxone co-prescribing –</strong> SB 6447, <em>WSMA opposes</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6447 would require a practitioner to provide a prescription for naloxone, or to confirm that the patient has a current one already, when prescribing opioids at or in excess of 50 morphine milligram equivalent. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10. The bill did not pass out of committee before Tuesday's cutoff deadline.</p> <p><strong>Mental health advance directives workgroup –</strong> SB 6591, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6591 would establish a work group under the Health Care Authority to examine the use of mental health advance directives in the state and how to promote their use, with a representative from the WSMA among the participants. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 11.</p> <p><strong>Providing reentry services –</strong> SB 6638, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Among its many provisions, Senate Bill 6638 would stipulate that Medicaid benefits suspended upon an individual's incarceration may be restored up to 90 days prior to the individual's release (rather than allowing for the individual to apply for reinstatement during incarceration) and, beginning in 2022, would stipulate that the benefits must be restored between 90 and 7 days before the individual is released. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 10 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 11.</p> <p><strong>Reducing the total cost of insulin –</strong> HB 2662, <em>WSMA other</em></p> <p>House Bill 2662 would establish a work group under the Health Care Authority to review and design strategies to reduce the cost of insulin and expenditures on insulin in the state, with a report due to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2020. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on Feb. 10 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 11. The WSMA has requested a physician be added to the work group.</p> <p><strong>Telehealth training and treatment program to assist youth –</strong> SB 5389, <em>WSMA opposes</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 5389 would require the University of Washington to develop a training curriculum and delivery system to train middle, junior high, and high school staff to identify students who are at risk for substance abuse, violence, or youth suicide. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Education on Feb. 13.</p> <h3>Committee cutoff updates</h3> <p>With the caveat that nothing is truly dead in Olympia until the Legislature adjourns, the following bills were not approved before cutoff and are not expected to receive further consideration:</p> <p><strong>Psychiatric pharmacist practitioner –</strong> SB 6609</p> <p>Senate Bill 6609 would have created a new practitioner type titled "psychiatric pharmacist practitioner," who could enter into written agreements with psychiatrists granting them the many of the same privileges as a physician in diagnosing and treating behavioral health conditions. The bill included no new education or training requirements for pharmacists to work under the license.</p> <p><strong>Assessing patient anxiety –</strong> HB 1920</p> <p>House Bill 1920 would have required that a patient's anxiety level be assessed by a health care provider upon the patient's intake at a health care facility, upon regular intervals during their stay, and again upon discharge.</p> <p><strong>Chronic pain patients –</strong> HB 2807</p> <p>House Bill 2807 would have allowed patients to provide written informed consent to a health care provider, granting the prescribing practitioner exemption from civil liability or disciplinary action by the relevant disciplinary entity for prescribing opioid drugs in excess or in violation of state rules.</p> <h3>Bills opposed by WSMA that survived the cutoff deadlines</h3> <p><strong>Naturopath scope of practice expansion –</strong> HB 1630</p> <p>House Bill 1630 would grant naturopaths prescriptive authority for Schedules III-V drugs without detailing specific education and training requirements, increase the office-based procedures that may be performed by naturopaths, and allow them to sign and attest to any form that a physician may sign, including forms such as death certificates and disability determinations.</p> <p><strong>King County payroll tax –</strong> HB 2907</p> <p>House Bill 2907 would allow for the imposition of a new payroll tax to be imposed in King County on businesses including physician practices with revenue generated going to support addressing homelessness and the delivery of behavioral health services.</p> <h3>What's happening this week</h3> <p>Monday through Wednesday both chambers were on the floor to debate and vote. Public hearings are generally scheduled for Thursday and Friday, in which committees will begin to hold public hearings on bills that came over from the opposite chamber.</p> <h4>More information</h4> <p>If you have questions about these bills or anything pending in Olympia, contact WSMA Director of Government Affairs Sean Graham (<a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>). And be sure to check out our two session video series, <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/5835487">WSMA Legislative Update</a> and <a href="https://vimeo.com/showcase/5729481">Doctors Making a Difference</a>, for more session-related information for physicians and physician assistants.</p> </div>2/19/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
video_legislative_session_week_6_in_briefVideo: Legislative Session Week 6 in BriefLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/video_legislative_session_week_6_in_brief<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/392372318"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Week6-Sean-Alex-still-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /></a> </div> <h5>February 19, 2020</h5> <h2>Video: Legislative Session Week 6 in Brief</h2> <p> In this week's legislative update, WSMA Director of Government Affairs Sean Graham is joined by Associate Director of Legislative & Political Affairs Alex Wehinger to preview next Tuesday's <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx">WSMA Legislative Summit</a>. </p> <p> Online pre-registration for the Summit ends this Friday, Feb. 21 at the close of business (registration is free for members). Note: We are no longer arranging meeting with legislators; however, you are still welcome to pre-register to attend the morning session of presentations. Walk-ins for the morning session are welcome. <a href="https://vimeo.com/392372318">Watch the video</a>. </p> </div>2/19/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
video_legislative_session_week_5_in_briefVideo: Legislative Session Week 5 in BriefLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/video_legislative_session_week_5_in_brief<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/391338404"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Week5-Update-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /></a> </div> <h5>February 14, 2020</h5> <h2>Video: Legislative Session Week 5 in Brief</h2> <p> In this week's legislative update, WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom is joined by WSMA's Director of Government Affairs Sean Graham to talk about the status of some of WSMA's priority bills at the halfway point in the legislative session. <a href="https://vimeo.com/391338404">Watch the video</a>. </p> </div>2/14/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
important_updates_to_state_opioid_prescribing_rulesImportant Updates to State Opioid Prescribing RulesLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/important_updates_to_state_opioid_prescribing_rules<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/February/opioid_hydrocodone_bottle-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Hydrocodone" /> </div> <h5> February 13, 2020</h5> <h2> Important Updates to State Opioid Prescribing Rules </h2> <p> </p> <p> The Washington Medical Commission and the Washington State Board of Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery have adopted amendments to their opioid prescribing rules to comply with <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5380&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 5380</a> from the 2019 state legislative session. New requirements include patient notification of the risks of prescription opioids, including the risk of dependence and overdose, pain management alternatives to opioids, when clinically appropriate, evidence-based alternatives exist, and notification to the patient that they have the right to refuse an opioid prescription for any reason. </p> <p> <strong>Opioid rule amendments and effective dates</strong> </p> <p> Review the adopted amendments, which also identify situations where the notification requirements would not apply: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://wmc.wa.gov/sites/default/files/rules/CR-103.pdf" target="_blank">Washington Medical Commission rule amendments</a></li> <li><a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Newsletters/2020/CR103_Final.pdf]">Board of Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery rule amendments</a> </li> </ul> <p> WMC rule amendments are effective starting Feb. 29; osteopathic board rule amendments Feb. 21. These new requirements must be documented in the medical record when applicable. </p> <p> <strong>Opioid prescribing resources</strong> </p> <p> The Department of Health offers patient handouts for all categories of pain patients (chronic, surgical, acute, and subacute) to help guide discussions with patients of the risks, safe storage, and safe disposal of prescription opioids. The handouts are available from <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/ForPublicHealthandHealthcareProviders/HealthcareProfessionsandFacilities/OpioidPrescribing/HealthcareProviders/Toolkits">the DOH website</a>. </p> <p> The WSMA also offers education and practice resources on the state's opioid prescribing rules, including </p> <ul> <li>A one-hour webinar which will fulfill the new state requirement for continuing medical education on opioid prescribing (approved for <em>AMA PRA Category 1 Credit</em>â„¢).</li> <li>A customizable PowerPoint template to help practice leaders educate their care teams, regardless of size, on the new rules.</li> </ul> <p> Visit the WSMA's <a href="[@]WSMA/Resources/Opioids/Prescribing_Rules_And_Guidelines/prescribing_rules_and_guidelines.aspx">Prescribing Rules and Guidelines page</a> to find these and other clinician resources. </p> </div>2/13/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
lawmakers_in_olympia_open_door_to_medicaid_reimbursement_increaseLawmakers in Olympia Open Door to Medicaid Reimbursement IncreaseLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/lawmakers_in_olympia_open_door_to_medicaid_reimbursement_increase<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/February/Stock.image_2018.fam_ped_w_younggirl_645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Family with physician" /> </div> <h5> February 13, 2020</h5> <h2> Lawmakers in Olympia Open Door to Medicaid Reimbursement Increase </h2> <p> </p> <p> For the first time in years, there's serious interest and momentum among budget writers for a Medicaid reimbursement increase that would apply to all primary care. This is in part an effort to mitigate the impact of the <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Advocacy_Report/2020/modified_b_and_o_tax_fix_set_to_pass_legislature">B&O tax increase</a> and is a direct result of physician advocacy on that issue. WSMA members should note: While there's reason to be cautiously optimistic, for the Medicaid rate increase to be realized, we'll have to keep up the pressure on legislators. Here's what you need to know about this new development. </p> <p> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6676</a> would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services by at least 15% and for certain pediatric services by at least 21%, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The bill is expected to increase Medicaid reimbursement statewide by an estimated $65 million per year. SB 6676 had its first public hearing on Feb. 6 in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means. WSMA Government Affairs Director Sean Graham, Pioneer Family Practice physician Eddy Cates, MD, and retired pediatrician Tom Long, MD, representing the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, testified in support. </p> <p> As our members are well aware, most Medicaid payments fall far short of the cost of providing care. This puts physicians in the position of having to limit their Medicaid panel size or decline to participate in the program altogether to maintain practice viability - a situation that physicians don't want to be in and ultimately impairing access to care for patients. And while recent years have seen state lawmakers make investments in reimbursement rates for some pediatric primary care and behavioral health care services, there has not been a broad-based increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates in at least a dozen years. </p> <p> The WSMA advocated for this positive first step toward meaningful increases in Medicaid reimbursement rates in part to help ameliorate the effect of the B&O tax increase on our independent physician practices. It is imperative that legislators fund fair Medicaid reimbursements to facilitate practice viability and access to care for patients. Stay tuned for more information as SB 6676 makes its way through the Legislature - and be on the lookout for calls to action on the issue. </p> </div>2/13/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
update_and_interim_guidance_on_coronavirus_outbreakUpdate and Interim Guidance on Coronavirus OutbreakLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/update_and_interim_guidance_on_coronavirus_outbreak<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Newsletters/MembershipMemo/2020/February/coronavirus-2020-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="Coronavirus" /> </div> <h5> February 13, 2020</h5> <h2> Update and Interim Guidance on Coronavirus Outbreak </h2> <p> </p> <p> With one case confirmed in Washington, state public health agencies have quickly mobilized to prevent further transmission of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV. State officials report that there is no evidence the virus is spreading in Washington and the risk to the general public is low. The Department of Health offers an <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus">information and resource webpage</a> for health care professionals, <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/FactSheet">a fact sheet for the public (available in multiple languages)</a>, and has established a call center to address questions from the public that can be reached at 1.800.525.0127 (press #). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to closely monitor the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCoV (<a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html">now officially called COVID-19</a>) and offers <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html">continually updated guidance for health care professionals</a>. </p> </div>2/13/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wsma_priority_bills_still_in_play_in_olympiaWSMA Priority Bills Still in Play in OlympiaLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/wsma_priority_bills_still_in_play_in_olympia<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="2020 Washington state legislative session" /> </div> <h5> February 13, 2020</h5> <h2> WSMA Priority Bills Still in Play in Olympia </h2> <p> </p> <p> All of WSMA's priority bills are "alive" and moving through the legislative process after <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/Legislative_Session_Week_Three_Highlights">last Friday's policy cutoff</a>, some, including legislation on prior authorization and vapor products, due to the large outpouring of physician and physician assistant responses to our recent <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/urgent_session_update_for_physicians_and_pas">calls to action</a>. Thank you for responding - your calls and emails have made a difference. Read on for an overview of our session priorities. </p> <h3>WSMA priority bills that survived the Feb. 7 policy cutoff</h3> <p> <strong>Prior authorization transparency –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6404</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6404 would require insurance carriers to submit certain information related to prior authorization practices to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner and would establish a work group to review prior authorization standards and to make recommendations to promote standardization and improvement of prior authorization processes. </p> <p> <strong>Telemedicine payment parity –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5385&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5385</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 5385 would generally require payment for services delivered via telemedicine to be on par with the rate paid for in-person visits. </p> <p> <strong>Primary care Medicaid reimbursement –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6676</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6676 would raise Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care services by at least 15% and for certain pediatric services by at least 21%, effective Jan. 1, 2021. (<a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200214/lawmakers_in_olympia_open_door_to_medicaid_reimbursement_increase.aspx">See this article for details</a> .) </p> <p> <strong>Low-carbon fuel standard</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1110&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 1110</a> </p> <p> House Bill 1110 would establish a "clean fuels program" to limit greenhouse gas emissions. </p> <p> <strong>Health care provider credentialing</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1552&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1552</a> </p> <p> House Bill 1552 would stipulate that insurers must generally retroactively reimburse for care delivered by a physician or other credentialed practitioner during the time credentialing applications are pending, upon approval the application. </p> <p> <strong>Physician assistants</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2378&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2378</a> </p> <p> House Bill 2378 would modernize the physician assistant practice act and facilitate the ability of physician assistants to gain employment and practice. </p> <p> <strong>Health care benefit management </strong> –<a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5601&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5601</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 5601 would require benefit managers to register with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, including paying a licensure fee and submitting contracts with carriers, among other provisions. </p> <p> <strong>Vapor production regulation</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6254&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6254</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6254 would regulate the sale of certain flavored vapor products, stipulate maximum nicotine content for vapor products, and prohibit the sale of vapor products containing vitamin E acetate (among other provisions). Also imposes a new tax on flavored vapor products, with revenue generated being directed to the Foundational Public Health Services Accounts. </p> <h3>Bills opposed by WSMA that survived the Feb. 7 deadline</h3> <p> <strong>Naturopath scope of practice expansion – </strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1630&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1630</a> </p> <p> House Bill 1630 would grant naturopaths prescriptive authority for Schedules III-V drugs, without detailing specific education and training requirements, increase the office-based procedures that may be performed by naturopaths, and allow them to sign and attest to any form that a physician may sign, including forms such as death certificates and disability determinations. </p> <p> <strong>King County payroll tax –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2907&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2907</a> </p> <p> House Bill 2907 would allow for the imposition of a new payroll tax to be imposed in King County on businesses including physician practices, with revenue generated going to support addressing homelessness and the delivery of behavioral health services. </p> <h3>Bills considered "dead"</h3> <p> With the caveat that nothing is truly dead in Olympia until the Legislature adjourns <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adjournment_sine_die">sine die</a>, the following bills were not approved before the Feb. 7 cutoff and are not expected to receive further consideration: </p> <p> <strong>Psychiatric pharmacist practitioner –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6609&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6609</a> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6609 would have created a new practitioner type titled "psychiatric pharmacist practitioner," who could enter into written agreements with psychiatrists granting them many of the same privileges as a physician in diagnosing and treating behavioral health conditions. The bill included no new education or training requirements for pharmacists to work under the license. </p> <p> <strong>Assessing patient anxiety –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1920&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1920</a> </p> <p> House Bill 1920 would have required that a patient's anxiety level be assessed by a health care professional upon the patient's intake at a health care facility, upon regular intervals during their stay, and again upon discharge. </p> <p> <strong>Chronic pain patients –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2807&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2807</a> </p> <p> House Bill 2807 would have allowed patients to provide written informed consent to a prescribing practitioner, granting them exemption from civil liability or disciplinary action by the relevant disciplinary entity for prescribing opioid drugs in excess or in violation of state rules. </p> <h3>Other bills and more information</h3> <p> Don't see a bill you're looking for? Be sure to check our weekly legislative updates published our <a href="[@]WSMA/News_Publications/Latest_News/Advocacy_Report/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx?hkey=fbce906b-dbfb-4af3-8790-11f84275cf1e">online Advocacy Report</a>. If you have questions about these bills or anything pending in Olympia, contact WSMA Director of Government Affairs Sean Graham (<a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>). </p> </div>2/13/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
legislative_session_week_four_highlightsLegislative Session Week Four HighlightsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/legislative_session_week_four_highlights<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>February 11, 2020</h5> <h2 id="legislativesessionweekfourhighlights"> Legislative Session Week Four Highlights </h2> <p> Last Friday, Feb. 7 was the policy cutoff deadline, meaning that bills that did not been pass out of policy committees are not eligible for further consideration this session. Today, Feb. 11 is the "fiscal cutoff" deadline, meaning that bills that have not passed out of fiscal committees are not eligible for further consideration this session. Bills that are deemed necessary to implement the budget are not subject to these cutoff deadlines. </p> <p> Last Wednesday, WSMA sent out a call to action for physician advocacy on three pending issues—prior authorization transparency, naturopath scope of practice, and flavored vapor products ban. Both the prior authorization and flavored vapor products ban bills passed out of their policy committees and the naturopath scope of practice bill did not come to the House floor for a vote. Thank you to everyone who responded to our calls to action by contacting their legislators! </p> <p> As always, thank you to all the physicians who testified in Olympia this week! </p> <h3>Legislative session week four (Feb. 3-7): Health care highlights</h3> <p> <strong>Primary care reimbursement –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6676</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Initiative=false&Year=2019">,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Stipulates that Medicaid primary care services be reimbursed at least at 75% of Medicare rates. The bill is expected to increase Medicaid reimbursement statewide by an estimated $65 million per year ($20 million state / $45 million federal). There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 6. WSMA's government affairs director Sean Graham; Eddy Cates, MD; Tom Long, MD; and a lobbyist from WAFP testified in support of this legislation. </p> <p> <strong>Prior authorization transparency</strong> - <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6404,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Passed out of its policy committee and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways &Means. </p> <p> <strong>Telemedicine payment parity</strong> - <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5385&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5385</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> This bill is in the Senate Rules Committee awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. </p> <p> <strong>Primary Care Medicaid Reimbursement</strong> - <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6676&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6676</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>This bill had a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb.6.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 22.4px; font-family: 'Source Serif Pro', serif;"><br /> Other priority issues heard during week four(Feb. 3–7)</span></p> <p> <strong>King County payroll tax –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2907&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2907</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2907&Initiative=false&Year=2019">,</a> <em>WSMA opposes</em> </p> <p> Allows King County to have the ability to enact a payroll tax on businesses that have more than 50 employees and that pay at least half of their employees $150,000 or more. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Finance on Feb. 4 and is scheduled to be voted on by the committee on Feb. 7. </p> <p> <strong>Improving cardiac and stroke outcomes –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2838&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 2838</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2838&Year=2019&Initiative=false">,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Directs the Department of Health to coordinate the statewide cardiac and stroke system of care, including developing care system standards, stroke and cardiac center categorization, data collection, and care system performance. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Feb. 4. </p> <p> <strong>Providing reentry services –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6638&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6638</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6638&Initiative=false&Year=2019">,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Among many provisions stipulates that Medicaid benefits individuals had that were suspended upon incarceration may be restored up to 90 days prior to release (rather than allowing for the individuals to apply for reinstatement of Medicaid during incarceration), and beginning in 2022 stipulating that the benefits must be restored between 90 and 7 days before the individual is released. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Human Services, Reentry, & Rehabilitation on Feb. 4 and the bill was approved by the committee on Feb. 6. </p> <p> <strong>Postpartum Medicaid coverage –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6128&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6128</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6128&Initiative=false&Year=2019">,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> For pregnant and postpartum individuals whose income is at or below 193% of the federal poverty level, Medicaid coverage is provided up to 12 months post-pregnancy. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Feb. 4. </p> <p> <strong>Psychiatric pharmacists –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6609&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6609,</a> <em>WSMA opposes</em> </p> <p> Creates a new practitioner type titled "psychiatric pharmacist practitioner," in which professionals enter into a written agreement with a psychiatrist granting them abilities including collaborative assessment, evaluation, and management of behavioral health conditions. </p> <p> There was a hearing in Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Feb. 5. The WSMA opposes this legislation and was set to testify against it, but the hearing was cut short for time. The bill did not advance from committee and is not expected to receive further consideration this session. </p> <p> <strong>Primary care collaborative –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2615&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 2615,</a> <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Establishes a primary care collaborative administered by the Health Care Authority that is tasked with making recommendations to the Legislature pertaining to primary care. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Feb. 5. </p> <p> <strong>International medical graduates –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6551&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6551</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6551&Initiative=false&Year=2019">,</a> <em>WSMA other</em> </p> <p> Creates a workgroup to make recommendations to the Washington Medical Commission regarding ways to integrate international medical graduates into Washington's health care delivery system and allows for a hardship waiver for certain IMGs who cannot provide all necessary documentation due to circumstances outside of their control. </p> <p> There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Feb. 5 and the bill was approved by the committee the same day. WSMA's contract lobbyist Katie Kolan, JD, testified "other." While WSMA generally supports empowering IMGs to be able to integrate into the health care system as physicians, we are wary of policies that would lower the bar for practicing medicine in our state. </p> <h3 id="what39shappeningthisweek"> What's happening this week </h3> <p> A look at priority legislative hearings during the week of Feb. 10–14. Many of the agendas for this week's committees are still to be determined. </p> <p> Public hearings will be held on: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2734&Year=2019&Initiative=False">HB 2734</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2734&Year=2019&Initiative=False">,</a> creating pathways to recovery from addiction by eliminating a tax preference for the warehousing of opioids and other drugs.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2821&Year=2019&Initiative=False">HB 2821</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2821&Year=2019&Initiative=False">,</a> establishing and funding the health insurance affordability account.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5282&Year=2019&Initiative=False">SB 5282</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5282&Year=2019&Initiative=False">,</a> requiring informed consent for pelvic exams.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5887&Year=2019&Initiative=False">SB 5887</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5887&Year=2019&Initiative=False">,</a> concerning health carrier requirements for prior authorization standards.</li> </ul> </div>2/11/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
video_legislative_session_week_4_in_briefVideo: Legislative Session Week 4 in BriefLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/video_legislative_session_week_4_in_brief<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://vimeo.com/389647269"><img alt="" src="/images/News/Week4-Jennifer-Still-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /></a> </div> <h5>February 6, 2020</h5> <h2>Video: Legislative Session Week 4 in Brief</h2> <p>In this legislative update, WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom highlights three bills before the Legislature that need your urgent action ahead of tomorrow's policy cutoff deadline. Plus, an update on the modified B&O tax "fix" set to pass the Legislature. <a href="https://vimeo.com/389647269">Watch the video</a>. </p> </div>2/6/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
urgent_session_update_for_physicians_and_pasUrgent Session Update for Physicians and PAsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/urgent_session_update_for_physicians_and_pas<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/Megaphone-Evergreen-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>February 4, 2020</h5> <h2>Urgent Session Update for Physicians and PAs</h2> <p> Below is an urgent call to action on three issues before lawmakers this week in Olympia: prior authorization transparency, naturopath scope expansion, and a flavored vape product ban. If one or more of these issues are of concern to you, review the below information and contact your legislator(s) now. </p> <h3>TAKE ACTION: Yes to Prior Authorization Transparency </h3> <p> We need you to contact your state senator today and urge them to vote YES on SB 6404. </p> <p> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6404</a> would improve transparency and promote standardization around the prior authorization process. This legislation is a top priority for the WSMA, whose members regularly cite the insurer cost-control practice as their #1 administrative burden. </p> <p> SB 6404 must pass out of its Senate policy committee by this Friday to be eligible for further consideration. If improving prior authorization is important to you, please act this week to help ensure this bill—and issue—receive further consideration by the Legislature. Learn more about SB 6404 and take action: </p> <p> <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/take-action-prior-authorization/" class="TextButton">Take Action</a> </p> <h3>TAKE ACTION: No to Naturopath Scope Expansion</h3> <p> Contact your representatives today and urge their opposition to HB 1630, to ensure this bill is not brought to a vote in the House. </p> <p> Your calls and emails earlier this session are working: <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1630&Year=2019&Initiative=false">House Bill 1630</a>, which would inappropriately expand the scope of practice for naturopaths to include prescribing certain controlled substances, has not been brought to the House floor for a vote so far this session. We need your emails and calls to continue this week, to ensure this bill does not move forward. </p> <p> Contact your representatives today and urge their opposition to HB 1630 to ensure this bill is not brought to a vote in the House. Learn more about HB 1630 and take action: </p> <p> <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/take-action-naturopath-scope/" class="TextButton">Take Action</a> </p> <h3>TAKE ACTION: Yes to Flavored Vapor Product Ban</h3> <p> We need you to contact your state senator today and urge them to vote YES on SB 6254. </p> <p> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6254&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 6254</a>, WSMA priority legislation banning flavored vapor products, must pass out of its Senate policy committee by this Friday to be eligible for further consideration. Opposition to the bill is intense—legislators need to hear from physicians, who are trusted to provide sound, evidence-based best practices for healthy behavior, as soon as possible this week to help keep this important public health bill moving. </p> <p> Contact your senator today and urge a YES vote on SB 6254. Learn more about SB 6254 and take action: </p> <p> <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/take-action-vaping-products/" class="TextButton">Take Action</a> </p> </div>2/4/2020 4:56:41 PM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
update_and_interim_guidance_on_coronavirus_outbreakUpdate and Interim Guidance on Coronavirus OutbreakLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/update_and_interim_guidance_on_coronavirus_outbreak<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img src="/images/Concepts/coronavirus-2020_645x425.jpg" class="pull-right" alt="coronavirus" /> </div> <h5>February 4, 2020</h5> <h2>Update and Interim Guidance on Coronavirus Outbreak</h2> <p> The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that was initially detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. </p> <p> This CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update provides a situational update and interim guidance to state and local health departments that supersedes guidance in CDC's HAN 426 distributed on Jan. 17, 2020. It also adds: </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html">Guidance for clinicians caring for patients with 2019-nCoV.</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/clinical-criteria.html">Guidance for public health officials on the evaluation and testing of patients under investigation (PUIs) for 2019-nCoV.</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/infection-control.html">Updated infection prevention and control guidance specific to 2019-nCoV.</a></li> </ul> <p> Early in the outbreak, many of the patients with respiratory illness caused by 2019-nCoV in China had exposure to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-human transmission. More recently, cases have been confirmed with no exposure to animal markets, indicating that person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred. Chinese officials report that sustained person-to-person spread in the community is occurring in China. </p> <p> The first U.S. case-patient was identified on Jan. 21, 2020, and had recently traveled from Wuhan, China. Since that time, six additional cases have been confirmed in the United States, four among persons who traveled from Wuhan, and one a close contact of a confirmed case. Globally, reported illnesses in people with 2019-nCoV have ranged from mild (no or few signs and symptoms), to severe, including death. These findings are consistent with other coronaviruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Additional information about 2019-nCoV is needed to better understand transmission, disease severity, and risk to the general population. The goal of the ongoing U.S. public health response is to identify and contain this outbreak and prevent sustained spread of 2019-nCoV in the United States. </p> <p> For the full CDC update, including recommendations for screening of patients for 2019-nCoV: </p> <ul> <li><a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Latest News/CDC_Update_2019-nCoV_02012020.pdf]">Download the CDC's health update notice, issued Feb. 1</a>.</li> <li><a href="javascript://[Uploaded files/News and Publications/Latest News/2019-nCoV-identify-assess-flowchart-2020-02-01-508.pdf]">Download the CDC flowchart to identify and assess 2019 Novel Coronavirus</a>.</li> </ul> <h3>Washington state public health response to Coronavirus </h3> <p> Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington state public health agencies have begun mobilizing in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, after one case of the virus was confirmed in a patient in Snohomish County on Jan. 21. The World Health Organization designated the virus a "public health emergency of international concern" last week, and infectious disease experts say it could soon be declared a pandemic. </p> <p> A <a href="http://www.mycolumbiabasin.com/2020/02/03/washington-mobilizes-response-to-coronavirus/">news release</a> from Gov. Inslee's office says more than 200 people are working on tracking down contacts of those who could be infected and sharing information. At least 16 people in Washington have been tested for the virus, but so far there have been no additional cases.</p> <p>The Washington State Department of Health has moved quickly to offer a <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus/Resources">resource webpage</a> for health care providers and a <a href="https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/NovelCoronavirusFactSheet.pdf" target="_blank">fact sheet</a> for the public, and has established a call center to address questions from the public that can be reached at 1.800.525.0127 (press #). </p> <p> The DOH, in partnership with the state Emergency Management Division, has set up an emergency operations center at Camp Murray, adjacent to Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma, and the Health Care Authority, state Department of Agriculture and state Department of Fish and Wildlife are contributing to the effort, as well. </p> </div>2/4/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Legislative_Session_Week_Three_HighlightsLegislative Session Week Three HighlightsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/February20/Legislative_Session_Week_Three_Highlights<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5>February 3, 2020</h5> <h2>Legislative Session Week Three Highlights</h2> <p>Three weeks into the 2020 legislative session and the first cutoff deadline is fast approaching. This Friday, Feb. 7 is the "policy cutoff" deadline, meaning that bills that have not been passed out of policy committees are not eligible for further consideration this session, barring extenuating circumstance such as their being deemed necessary to implement the budget. Bills in fiscal committees are not subject to this cutoff. <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 6404,</a> WSMA priority legislation sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, had a public hearing last Friday, Jan. 31 – this bill would improve transparency and promote standardization around prior authorization practices (more details below).</p> <h3>Legislative session week three (Jan. 27–31): Health care highlights</h3> <p><strong>Primary care collaborative –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6413&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6413</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Establishes a Primary Care Collaborative administered by the Health Care Authority that is tasked with making recommendations to the Legislature pertaining to primary care. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Jan. 27 and was scheduled for an executive session on Jan. 31. Thank you to Russell Maier, MD, for testifying in Olympia!</p> <p><strong>Prior authorization –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6404</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Requires health plans to provide data to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner regarding the volume, as well as denial and approval rates, for services requiring prior authorization. The bill would then create a clinical work group to select services for review and to determine if appropriate use criteria could be used in lieu of prior authorization. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Jan. 31. WSMA's director of government affairs Sean Graham; Eugene Yang, MD; Christine Palermo, MD; and James Hudson, Woodcreek Provider Services CEO, testified in support of this WSMA priority legislation. Thanks for joining us in Olympia!</p> <p><strong>Non-participating providers –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2616&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 2616</a> and <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6397&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6397</a>, <em>WSMA opposes both bills</em></p> <p>Eliminates the July 1, 2021 sunset date on Medicaid payment policy stipulating that non-participating providers be reimbursed by MCOs at the lowest rate the MCO pays a contracted similar provider for the service. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on Jan. 27 on HB 2616 and in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Jan. 30 on SB 6397. WSMA's government affairs director Sean Graham testified in opposition to both bills.</p> <h3>Other priority issues heard during week three (Jan. 27–31)</h3> <p><strong>School-based health center workgroup –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2708&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2708</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Creates a workgroup on school-based health centers, with a representative from WC-AAP (among many other organizations and constituencies). There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Education on Jan. 27.</p> <p><strong>Reporting of student head injury information</strong> <strong>–</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2731&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2731</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Requires schools to report information on student head injuries. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Education on Jan. 27.</p> <p><strong>Health care benefit management –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5601&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5601</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Among other provisions, requires benefit managers to register with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, including paying a licensure fee and submitting contracts with carriers. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Jan. 27 and was scheduled for executive session on Jan. 31.</p> <p><strong>Assault of health care providers –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2294&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 2294</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Expands existing statute pertaining to enhanced sentences for assault of some health care providers (i.e. physicians and nurses) to apply to all health care providers licensed under <a href="https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=18">Title 18 RCW</a>. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Public Safety on Jan. 27.</p> <p><strong>Funding for the children's mental health services consultation program –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2728&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2728</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Directs the Health Care Authority (in consultation with the University of Washington) to implement a tele-behavioral health video call center to provide emergency department providers, primary care providers, and county and municipal correctional facility providers with on-demand access to psychiatric and SUD clinical consultation for adult patients. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on Jan. 27.</p> <p><strong>Industrial insurance medical examinations – </strong><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6440&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6440</a>, <em>WSMA opposes</em></p> <p>Modifies numerous provisions pertaining to Department of Labor & Industries medical examinations. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce on Jan. 28. The WSMA opposes this legislation due to concerns regarding increased administrative burden.</p> <p><strong>Reducing the total cost of insulin –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2662&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2662</a>, <em>WSMA neutral</em></p> <p>Establishes a workgroup under the Health Care Authority to review and design strategies to reduce the cost of insulin and expenditures on insulin in the state, with a report due to the Legislature Dec. 1, 2020. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Jan. 28 and was scheduled for executive session on Jan. 31. The WSMA is requesting that a provider be included on the workgroup.</p> <p><strong>Prescription drug donation –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6526&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6526</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Directs the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission to promulgate rules allowing for the Department of Corrections pharmacy to accept returns of drugs under certain circumstances. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Jan 28.</p> <p><strong>Opioid epidemic response advisory council –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2786&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2786</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Directs the attorney general's office to convene an advisory council to advise the Legislature on how to use the money received by the state as a result of litigation against opioid manufacturers or distributors. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations on Jan. 31.</p> <p><strong>Organ transport vehicles –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6580&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6580</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Creates regulations pertaining to vehicles contracted by organ procurement organizations for transplanting organs, including requiring the vehicles to be equipped with a siren. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Transportation on Jan. 29.</p> <p><strong>State leave for organ donation –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6123&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6123</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Allows state employees to take paid leave as needed (up to 30 days in a two-year period) to participate in organ donation and related "life-giving procedures" with the written proof from a health care professional that the employee participated in a life-giving procedure. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Jan. 30.</p> <p><strong>Potency of marijuana products –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2546&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2</a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2546&Initiative=false&Year=2019">546</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Prohibits marijuana retailers and processors from selling, processing, packaging, possessing, delivering, and distributing marijuana concentrates with a THC concentration greater than 10%, while making exceptions for qualifying patients and designated providers who are entered into the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming on Jan. 30.</p> <p><strong>Health sciences and services sales tax</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1659&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1659</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Modifies date requirements associated with local jurisdictions that have created a health sciences and services authority and wish to impose a sales tax. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Finance on Jan. 30.</p> <p><strong>Substitute providers –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6358&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6358</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>Makes a provision for hospitals, rural health clinics, and "rural providers" to allow for substitute providers to deliver services and be reimbursed by Medicaid managed care organizations in the event a contracted provider is absent for a limited time or the entity is recruiting to fill an open position. There was a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long Term Care on Jan. 31.</p> <p><strong>Persons with SUD –</strong> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6311&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6311</a>, <em>WSMA has concerns with legislation</em></p> <p>The Health Care Authority is directed to prepare a gap analysis and implementation plan pertaining to delivery of services, including an analysis of workforce needs and proposals to provide the needed level of service. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, all patients who present to health care facilities (e.g. hospitals, clinics, EDs, etc.) with indication of SUD, opioid overdose, or chronic addiction must receive a SUD evaluation, among other things. There was a public hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Behavioral Health on Jan. 31.</p> <h3>What's happening this week</h3> <p>A look at priority legislative hearings during the week of Feb. 3–7.</p> <p><strong>Public hearings will be held this week on (subject to change):</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2838&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 2838</a>, cardiac and stroke outcomes.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2615&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2615</a>, primary care collaborative.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6551&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6551</a>, integrating international medical graduates into Washington's health care delivery system.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6489&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6489</a>, possession of vapor, vapor products, tobacco, and tobacco products by persons under 21 years of age.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6585&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6585</a>, medication assisted treatment within jails.</li> </ul> <h3>Help inform our prior authorization legislative advocacy</h3> <p>Responding to concerns we've heard from our physician and physician assistant members, WSMA worked during the interim with the Washington State Hospital Association to bring forward legislation in the 2020 session to help address health insurers' prior authorization practices, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019">Senate Bill 6404</a> and <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2568&Chamber=House&Year=2019">House Bill 2568</a>.</p> <p>We know that the burden imposed on patients, providers, and health care practices through prior authorization requirements is a top concern of the physician community – it's perennially cited in surveys as the biggest headache our members face in delivering care to patients.</p> <p>Do you have specific stories you can share with our advocacy team about egregious examples of prior authorization requirements and the impact they have on patients' access to care? If so, please share them with Sean Graham, WSMA's government affairs director, at <a href="mailto:sean@wsma.org">sean@wsma.org</a>.</p> </div>2/3/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
Legislative_Session_Week_Two_HighlightsLegislative Session Week Two HighlightsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Latest_News/2020/January/Legislative_Session_Week_Two_Highlights<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 24, 2020</h5> <h2> Legislative Session Week Two Highlights </h2> <p> The Legislature began the week hearing several high-profile pieces of legislation related to firearm safety. Later in the week, both the House and the Senate held public hearings on legislation related to the B&O tax surcharge that was passed last year (more details below). And in the House, a bill expanding scope of practice for naturopaths that WSMA adamantly opposes was made eligible to be voted on. Thanks to everyone who responded to our calls to action on B&O and naturopath legislation and contacted their local legislators!</p> <h3> Legislative session week two (Jan. 20-24): Health care highlights </h3> <p> <strong>B&O tax surcharge</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6492&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6492</a>, <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2468&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2468</a>, <em>WSMA opposes both</em></p> <p> Senate Bill 6492 modifies provisions relating to the B&O tax surcharge imposed through House Bill 2158 of the 2019 legislative session, including modifying the exemption threshold for small businesses and maintains the effective B&O tax rate for independent physician practices at 1.8%, as well as maintaining the hospital rate at 1.5%. Applies retroactively to Jan. 1, 2020. WSMA Government Affairs Director Sean Graham testified in opposition to this legislation in the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on Jan. 21. House Bill 2468 modifies a number of provisions and definitions from 2019's House Bill 2158, but maintains the 20% B&O tax increase on independent physician practices. There was a public hearing in the House Committee on Finance on Jan. 23. WSMA's Government Affairs Director Sean Graham; Teresa Girolami, MD; Tamara Bunn, MD; and Nancy Belcher, PhD, testified in opposition to this legislation. Thanks for joining us in Olympia!</p> <p> <strong>Including health in the state transportation system policy goals</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2461&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2461</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>House Bill 2461 adds a criterion to the state’s transportation policy goals of improving health by considering health implications and encouraging active transportation when designing, building, and maintaining the state’s transportation system. WSMA's Associate Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Alex Wehinger testified in support of this legislation at a public hearing in the House Committee on Transportation on Jan. 22. </p> <p> <strong>Increasing access to medications for people with opioid use disorder</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6086&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6086</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>Senate Bill 6086 seeks to reduce barriers to effective MAT services by permitting health care entities to dispense up to two weeks of controlled substances to patients receiving treatment for opioid use disorder. There was a public hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Behavioral Health on Jan. 24. WSMA’s contract lobbyist Katie Kolan, JD, testified in support of this legislation.</p> <p> <strong>Naloxone co-prescribing </strong>– <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6447&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6447</a>, <em>WSMA opposes</em></p> <p> Requires a practitioner to provide a prescription for Naloxone, or to confirm that the patient has a current one already, when prescribing opioids at or in excess of 50 morphine milligram equivalent. There was a public hearing in the Senate Subcommittee on Behavioral Health on Jan. 24. WSMA’s contract lobbyist Katie Kolan, JD, testified in opposition to this legislation.</p> <h3> Other priority issues heard during week two (Jan. 20-24) </h3> <p> <strong>High-capacity magazines</strong> –<a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6077&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6077</a> and <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2240&Chamber=House&Year=2019">HB 2240</a>, <em>WSMA supports both bills</em></p> <p>Senate Bill 6077 and House Bill 2240 generally ban the manufacture, possession, and distribution of large-capacity magazines. </p> <p> <strong>Carrier surplus reserves</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6097&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6097</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>Senate Bill 6097 requires the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to review the carrier’s surplus levels as an element in determining the reasonableness of proposed premium rates. In reviewing the surplus, the OIC must take into consideration the capital facility needs for carriers maintaining and operating hospital and clinic facilities. </p> <p> <strong>Postpartum Medicaid coverage</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6106&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6106</a> and <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6128&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6128</a>, <em>WSMA supports both bills</em></p> <p>For pregnant and postpartum individuals whose income is at or below 193% of the federal poverty level, Medicaid coverage is provided up to 12 months post-pregnancy. The HCA is directed to seek a federal waiver to allow the state to receive a federal match for postpartum coverage, though the coverage increase stipulated in the bill goes into effect regardless of the outcome of the waiver. </p> <p> <strong>Model sexual assault protocols for hospitals and clinics</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6158&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6158</a>, <em>WSMA supports*</em></p> <p> Senate Bill 6158 creates a task force on coordinated community response to sexual assault within the office of the attorney general to research and make recommendations about best practices for responding to sexual assault victims beginning with their arrival at a hospital or clinic.</p> <p> *<em>WSMA supports this legislation provided an amendment is added ensuring a representative from the clinic community is added to the task force.</em></p> <p> <strong>Assault weapons and large-capacity magazines</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2241&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2241</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>House Bill 2241 generally bans the manufacture, possession and distribution of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. </p> <p> <strong>Health care benefit management</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2036&Initiative=false&Year=2019"></a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1562&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 1562</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em></p> <p>House Bill 1562 requires benefit managers to register with the OIC and prohibits penalizing patients for using certain types of pharmacies that the carrier or benefit manager has an ownership interest in. </p> <p> <strong>Low carbon fuel standard</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5412&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5412</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Senate Bill 5412 would require a 20% reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. </p> <p> <strong>Department of Corrections health care administration</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2335&Initiative=false&Year=2019"></a><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6063&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6063</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p>Senate Bill 6063 requires the Department of Corrections to establish minimum job qualifications for prison medical director positions, in accordance with best practices, with a report to the Legislature in 2020 on the qualifications that are established, and a requirement to review the qualifications at least every five years going forward. </p> <h3> Legislative session week three (Jan. 21-25). Public hearings were on the following: </h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2679&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2679</a>, concerning funding for individuals who are not eligible for federal insurance subsidies and for foundational public health services.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2662&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2662</a>, reducing the total cost of insulin.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2642&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2642</a>, removing health coverage barriers to accessing substance use disorder treatment services.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5601&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 5601</a>, concerning health care benefit management.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6413&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6413</a>, establishing the primary care collaborative.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6404</a>, adopting prior authorization and appropriate use criteria in patient care.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6358&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6358</a>, requiring Medicaid managed care organizations to provide reimbursement of health care services provided by substitute providers.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6303&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6303</a>, concerning testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.</li> </ul> <h3> Legislative session week three (Jan. 21-25). The following were scheduled for votes in policy committees: </h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2240&Chamber=House&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2240</a>, high-capacity magazines.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6254&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">SB 6254</a>, vapor product regulation.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2338&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2338</a>, prohibiting discrimination in health care coverage.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2419&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2419</a>, studying barriers to the use of death with dignity.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2457&Initiative=false&Year=2019" target="_blank">HB 2457</a>, health care cost transparency board.</li> <li> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2360&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2360</a>, sharps waste stewardship program.</li> </ul> <p> Stayed tuned for highlights from those hearings. For regular updates on our advocacy during session, visit our <a href="[@]WSMA/News_Publications/Latest_News/Advocacy_Report/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx?hkey=fbce906b-dbfb-4af3-8790-11f84275cf1e">online Advocacy Report</a>. </p> <h3> Physician advocacy in person in Olympia can make a difference </h3> <p> Don your white coat and come to the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for the 2020 WSMA Legislative Summit, our "doctors' day on the Hill." The event is free for members - <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">learn more and register online today</a>. Or consider lending your expertise and experience to lawmakers by testifying on a bill or issue you care about. Contact Alex Wehinger at <a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</a>to learn more. </p> </div>2/2/2020 11:44:06 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
weekly_rounds_january_31_2020_5_things_to_know_as_you_try_to_stay_dryWeekly Rounds: January 31, 2020 - 5 Things to Know as You Try to Stay DryLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2020/weekly_rounds_january_31_2020_5_things_to_know_as_you_try_to_stay_dry<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Weekly Rounds logo" class="pull-right" src="/images/Logos/Weekly-Rounds-Article-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" /></div> <h5>January 31, 2020</h5> <h2 id="thingstoknowasyoutrytostaydry">5 Things to Know as You Try to Stay Dry</h2> <p>Jennifer Hanscom, Executive Director/CEO</p> <p>Even after living in the Pacific Northwest for years, I still find a rainy winter like this one hard to take. Thank goodness for my recent trip to the Physicians Foundation meeting in beautiful Naples, Florida, where I was able to catch a few rays of sunshine between strategic planning sessions, committee and board meetings. </p> <p>Despite rainy days, inverted umbrellas, and ankle-deep puddles, at the WSMA we keep our focus on our work making Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. To that end, while I was in Florida, I was able to give the Physician Foundation board an update on our Practice Transformation and Wellness initiative and thank them for the grant that allowed us to kick off this work. You'll recall, the Physicians Foundation also provided the seed money for WSMA's successful leadership courses. I was proud to share that more than 700 physicians have benefited from these programs. </p> <p>Now back in our state, I wanted to highlight several updates that I know matter to you.</p> <h3 id="tacklingpriorauthorization">Tackling prior authorization</h3> <p>This morning in Olympia, there is a hearing in the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee on prior authorization. <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6404&Year=2019&Initiative=false">Senate Bill 6404</a>, introduced by Sen. David Frockt, would improve transparency and promote standardization around the prior authorization process. Supporting SB 6404 is a top priority for the WSMA.</p> <p>This transparency would provide clarity on which services are subject to prior authorization and what the result is when prior authorization is imposed (i.e., whether the request is ultimately approved or denied), informing patients, physicians, providers, and policymakers about prior authorization practices and appropriate next steps. </p> <p>The bill would also create a clinical work group to select and review services each year, and make recommendations regarding the applicability of prior authorization and the potential for appropriate use criteria to be used as an alternative, using the information collected and provided by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Commercial insurers, PEBB/SEBB programs, and Medicaid managed care organizations would then incorporate the recommendations into their health plans. </p> <p>Special thanks to Eugene Yang, MD, Christina Palermo, MD, and Woodcreek Provider Services CEO James Hudson, who will take time out of their busy practices this morning to come to Olympia and testify in support of SB 6404. Each will share real-life patient stories highlighting instances where prior authorization added unnecessary burden, inefficiency, and cost—in addition to needless and harmful delay—when providing patients with necessary care.</p> <p>We all know that insurance company executives love to claim prior authorization is a necessary tool to drive down costs. This bill says, "prove it!" </p> <h3 id="speakingupinolympiaatthelegislativesummit">Speaking up in Olympia at the Legislative Summit</h3> <p>Grab your white coat and join us in Olympia on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for WSMA's <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=o7qS6">Legislative Summit</a>. This is your opportunity to personally bring medicine's message to your legislators and to let them know how their decisions impact your care of patients. </p> <p>In addition to hearing from Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, you'll learn about being an effective physician grassroots advocate from WSMA member Avanti Bergquist, MD, and her husband, Rep. Steve Bergquist. Our team will be there to prep you on issues to discuss during afternoon meetings with your legislators. <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454&_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=o7qS6">Register today on our website</a>. The event is free for WSMA members.</p> <h3 id="volkv.demeerleerrecommendations">Volk v. DeMeerleer recommendations</h3> <p>At the request of the Washington State Legislature, the Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative recently adopted recommendations intended to address clinician uncertainty resulting from the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court decision Volk v. DeMeerleer. <a href="http://www.breecollaborative.org/topic-areas/previous-topics/risk-of-violence/">The Risk of Violence to Others Report and Recommendations</a> can be downloaded for review from the Bree Collaborative website. You can also read more in last week's <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/bree_collaborative_finalizes_recommendations_in_response_to_volk_v_demeerleer?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=q7qS6">Membership Memo</a>.</p> <h3 id="advancecareplanningandspanish-languagewashingtonians">Advance care planning and Spanish-language Washingtonians</h3> <p>Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest and a team at the University of California, San Francisco have been granted an award to distribute Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)-funded, evidence-based advance care planning resources to vulnerable and Spanish-speaking communities in Washington. UCSF researchers will collaborate with Honoring Choices PNW to further engage with community and health care partners across Washington and to build the infrastructure to disseminate and implement the PREPARE online program and the PREPARE easy-to-read advance directives. Honoring Choices PNW is a joint initiative of the WSMA Foundation for Health Care Improvement and Washington State Hospital Association with partnerships in health care and community organizations across the state. For more information about this latest development in WSMA's advance care planning outreach, <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/honoring_choices_pacific_northwest_ucsf_granted_advance_care_planning_award?_zs=B3aFd1&_zl=r7qS6">read the press release</a>.</p> <h3 id="freetechnicalassistanceforpmpconnection">Free technical assistance for PMP connection</h3> <p>Comagine Health (formerly Qualis Health) has teamed up with the University of Washington and the Washington State Department of Health to provide free technical assistance to physician practices wishing to integrate the state's prescription monitoring program into their electronic health record system. Comagine Health tracks the progress and assists with facilitation and implementation of the technology to support your clinic to integrate the PMP directly into your patient's chart. Comagine welcomes all specialties including primary care, behavioral health, surgical, and dental to participate in this opportunity to simplify workflows. Email <a href="mailto:WAPMP@comagine.org">WAPMP@comagine.org</a> for more information.</p> <p>There's a lot of work going on across the state, focusing on making the profession better for our members and their patients. We're grateful for your leadership in helping make that happen. Stay the course, even if it's a rainy one!</p> </div>1/31/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
wcaap_and_wsma_respond_to_us_supreme_court_public_charge_rulingWCAAP and WSMA Respond to U.S. Supreme Court Public Charge RulingLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Press_Release/2020/wcaap_and_wsma_respond_to_us_supreme_court_public_charge_ruling<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right"><img src="/images/Logos/Press-Release-Graphic-2019-Branding.png" class="pull-right" alt="WSMA press release logo" /></div> <h5>January 29, 2020</h5> <h2>WCAAP and WSMA Respond to U.S. Supreme Court Public Charge Ruling</h2> <p> SEATTLE - The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians (WCAAP) and the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) issued the following statement today: </p> <p> "We know that this public charge policy has already harmed children in our state and it is disappointing that the Supreme Court would affirm it," says Elizabeth Meade, MD, FAAP, president of the WCAAP. "When families fear utilizing programs they are eligible for that help them access stable housing, adequate food, and health care, children suffer. These are services that fill the most basic needs children require in order to grow, develop, and feel safe." </p> <p> "We are dismayed by the Court's decision this week," William Hirota, MD, MHA, president of the WSMA. "The Trump administration's public charge rule essentially puts basic health care out of reach for immigrants and their families—hundreds of thousands in Washington state alone. These are individuals who are legally in the state, many gainfully employed, and many with children, and who are now being told 'the doctor is not in—not for you, and not for your family.' The WSMA supports access to safe, affordable health care for all Washingtonians—not just a select few." </p> <p> Washington state, led by Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and 13 other states filed a lawsuit in 2019 to block the public charge rule. The WSMA and WCAAP, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, and the American Medical Association, filed an amicus brief supporting the lawsuit, which is currently moving forward in the courts. </p> <p><strong>For more information, contact:</strong></p> <p> Jennifer Donahue<br /> Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics<br /> Communications Manager<br /> Cell: 206.713.1087<br /> Email: <a href="mailto:jdonahue@wcaap.org">jdonahue@wcaap.org</a> </p> <p> Graham Short<br /> Washington State Medical Association<br /> Associate Director of Communications <br /> Cell: 206.329.6851<br /> Email: <a href="mailto:gfs@wsma.org">gfs@wsma.org</a> </p> <p> <strong>About the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics</strong><br /> The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated for the health and well-being of Washington's children and their families since 1934. The WCAAP represents over 1100 pediatric health care providers from across Washington State. Our mission is to optimize the health and well-being of children and their families while advancing pediatric care. WCAAP frames and leads the public discussion on child health issues, advances public policy to benefit children, and empowers pediatricians to provide quality medical care. </p> <p> <strong>About the Washington State Medical Association </strong><br /> The Washington State Medical Association represents more than 11,000 physicians, physician assistants, resident physicians and medical students in Washington state. The WSMA has advocated on behalf of the house of medicine for more than 125 years. Our vision is to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. </p> </div>1/29/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
bree_collaborative_finalizes_recommendations_in_response_to_volk_v_demeerleerBree Collaborative Finalizes Recommendations in Response to Volk v. DeMeerleerLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/bree_collaborative_finalizes_recommendations_in_response_to_volk_v_demeerleer<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/bill-oxford-OXGhu60NwxU-unsplash-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 23, 2020</h5> <h2> Bree Collaborative Finalizes Recommendations in Response to Volk v. DeMeerleer </h2> <p> At the request of the Washington State Legislature, the <a href="http://www.breecollaborative.org/topic-areas/previous-topics/risk-of-violence/">Dr. Robert Bree Collaborative</a> recently adopted recommendations intended to address clinician uncertainty resulting from the 2016 Washington State Supreme Court decision <em>Volk v. DeMeerleer</em>. <a href="http://www.breecollaborative.org/topic-areas/previous-topics/risk-of-violence/">The Risk of Violence to Others Report and Recommendations</a> can be downloaded for review from the Bree Collaborative website. </p> <p> While intended to provide an overview of best practices for clinical care, the Bree Collaborative is concerned about setting actionable recommendations in light of the standards set in <em>Volk</em>, and suggests that even with these recommendations, legislative action is needed to address the questions raised by court's decision, including: </p> <ul> <li>Addressing <em>Volk's</em> discrepancies with current law (RCWs 71.05.120, 70.02.050, and 70.02.230).</li> <li>Creating one uniform standard on the duties of mental health professionals to protect third parties from violent acts of patients to supersede <em>Volk</em> and apply regardless of treatment settings.</li> <li>Clarifying the scope of the duty to protect by specifying the range of clinicians subject to the duty to protect, conditions that trigger the duty to protect, persons to whom the duty to protect is owed, and options for discharging the duty to protect.</li> </ul> <p> The WSMA was actively engaged in the work group that created the recommendations. The Bree Collaborative will now send the recommendations to the state Health Care Authority in accordance with its usual process for review and approval and will also send them to the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. </p> <p> The <em>Volk</em> decision was <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Weekly_Rounds/2018/Volk_decision_a_few_words_make_a_huge_difference">aggressively opposed by the WSMA</a> and a large coalition of national and state partners due to its substantial expansion of clinician liability and the potential chilling effect on patient care. We are pleased to see the Bree Collaborative address the need for the Legislature to address significant legal ambiguities in order to support Washington's mental health professionals. </p> <p> If you have questions, email Katerina LaMarche, JD, at <a href="mailto:katerina@wsma.org">katerina@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>1/23/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
legislative_session_week_one_highlightsLegislative Session Week One HighlightsLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/legislative_session_week_one_highlights<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/2020-Leg-Session-Social-Graphic-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 23, 2020</h5> <h2> Legislative Session Week One Highlights </h2> <p> </p> <p> If a physician colleague asks you "<a href="[@]WSMA/Membership/Why_Join_the_WSMA/WSMA/Membership/Why_Join_the_WSMA_/Why_Join_the_WSMA.aspx?hkey=de6b7c3d-8b5a-420d-a55e-db6e2faf5715">What's the value of membership in the WSMA</a>?" a quick and easy answer is the work we, and many of your committed WSMA member colleagues, do on the ground in Olympia during the state legislative session. That work was on full display last week, as Washington state lawmakers began their "short" 60-day working session. Proposed bills on issues of importance to physicians - credentialing, maintenance of certification, a low-carbon fuel standard, to name a few - were heard in committee hearings, several featuring WSMA physician advocates providing testimony. </p> <p> The legislative session kicked off with the swearing in of a new Speaker of the House, Rep. Laurie Jinkins of the Tacoma area. Jinkins is the first new House speaker in over two decades, and - in two historic firsts - the first woman House speaker and its first openly gay speaker. </p> <p> Here is a brief rundown of the priority health care bills heard last week in committees, a few shout-outs to our physician advocates who testified, and what's in store for this week (and in case you missed it, WSMA CEO Jennifer Hanscom lays out our top legislative priorities in our inaugural legislative update video <a href="https://vimeo.com/384585974">here</a>). </p> <h3> Legislative session week one (Jan. 13-17): Health care highlights </h3> <p> <strong>Health care provider credentialing</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1552&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1552</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Among other provisions, House Bill 1552 would require insurers to retroactively reimburse for care delivered by providers during credentialing time, upon approval of credentialing application. It also would reduce the deadline by which insurers must approve or deny credentialing applications to 45 days. WSMA members Ken Lee, MD; Edward Cates, MD; and Christie Mcannally, office manager at Pioneer Family Practice, joined WSMA's Director of Policy Jeb Shepard to testify in support of this legislation during a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Jan. 15. <a href="https://vimeo.com/386784881" target="_blank">Watch Drs. Lee and Cates testimony</a>. </p> <p> <strong>Prohibiting maintenance of certification as a condition for insurer network participation</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2313&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2313</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2313 would prohibit insurers from requiring that physicians participate in maintenance of certification programs as a condition of being a participating provider in health plans. WSMA member Ken Lee, MD, and WSMA Director of Government Affairs Sean Graham testified in support of this legislation during a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Jan. 15. </p> <p> <strong>Physician assistants</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2378&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2378</a>,<em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2378 would make modifications to modernize the Physician Assistant Practice Act and to facilitate the ability of physician assistants to gain employment and practice. WSMA contract lobbyist Katie Kolan, JD, testified in support of this legislation during a public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness on Jan. 17. </p> <h3> Other priority issues heard during week one (Jan. 13-17) </h3> <p> <strong>Health coverage for young adults</strong> –<a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1697&Year=2019&Initiative=false">HB 1697</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 1687 would expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals aged 19 to 26 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level and who are not eligible for traditional Medicaid (i.e. undocumented individuals.). </p> <p> <strong>Expiration date for notification of a biosimilar</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2251&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2251</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2251 would extend by five years the expiration date for required notification to a prescriber in the event of the substitution of a biosimilar drug for a biologic drug. </p> <p> <strong>Student health plans</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2252&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2252</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2252 would require that student health plans that provide coverage for maternity care services also provide coverage for abortions. </p> <p> <strong>Living donor act</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6039&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6039</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6039 would make it illegal for insurers to decline, limit, or price coverage based on an individual's status as a living organ donor or discriminate against them in any way for the same reason. </p> <p> <strong>Direct primary care</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6062&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6062</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Senate Bill 6062 would repeal a reporting requirement for direct primary care practices to operate in the state. </p> <p> <strong>Health system transparency</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2036&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2036</a>, <em>WSMA opposes</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2036 would impose new financial reporting requirements on hospitals and apply the same requirements to ambulatory surgical facilities. </p> <p> <strong>Low carbon fuel standard</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5412&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 5412</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> Senate Bill 5412 would require a 20% reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. </p> <p> <strong>Increasing access to medications for people with opioid use disorder</strong> – <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2335&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2335</a>, <em>WSMA supports</em> </p> <p> House Bill 2335 would increase allowances for pharmacies to administer, dispense, or deliver drugs to patients who receive evidence-based opioid use disorder treatment "at the health care entity" and in compliance with Washington State Pharmacy Commission rules. This legislation was developed by WSMA member Lucinda Grande, MD. </p> <h3> Legislative session week two (Jan. 21-25). Public hearings were on the following: </h3> <ul> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6077&Year=2019&Initiative=false">SB 6077</a> <strong>,</strong> concerning high-capacity magazines.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6106&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6106</a>, improving postpartum Medicaid coverage.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6128&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6128</a>, extending coverage during the postpartum period.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6097&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6097</a>, requiring the insurance commissioner to review a health carrier's surplus levels as part of its rate filing review process.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2240&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2240</a>, concerning high-capacity magazines.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2241&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2241</a>, concerning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2303&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2303</a>, concerning professional licensing requirements for service members and military spouses.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6288&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6288</a>, creating the Washington office of firearm violence prevention.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1562&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 1562</a>, concerning health care benefit management</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6254&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6254</a>, protecting public health and safety by enhancing the regulation of vapor products.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2457&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2457</a>, establishing the health care cost transparency board.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=2438&Initiative=false&Year=2019">HB 2438</a>, concerning establishment of the prescription opioid impact account.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6070&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6070</a>, concerning public disclosures by state-funded substance use disorder treatment programs and facilities.</li> <li><a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6086&Initiative=false&Year=2019">SB 6086</a>, increasing access to medications for opioid use disorder.</li> </ul> <p> Stayed tuned for highlights from those hearings. For regular updates on our advocacy during session, visit our <a href="[@]WSMA/News_Publications/Latest_News/Advocacy_Report/WSMA/News_Publications/Newsletters/WSMA_Advocacy_Report.aspx?hkey=fbce906b-dbfb-4af3-8790-11f84275cf1e">online Advocacy Report</a>. </p> <h3> Physician advocacy in person in Olympia can make a difference </h3> <p> Don your white coat and come to the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for the 2020 WSMA Legislative Summit, our "doctors' day on the Hill." The event is free for members - <a href="[@]WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/WSMA/Events/Legislative_Summit/Legislative_Summit.aspx?hkey=ec5e0510-cee2-4aa9-b549-905d63952454">learn more and register online today</a>. Or consider lending your expertise and experience to lawmakers by testifying on a bill or issue you care about. Contact Alex Wehinger at <a href="mailto:alex@wsma.org">alex@wsma.org</a>to learn more. </p> </div>1/23/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
naturopath_scope_expansion_bill_set_for_house_voteNaturopath Scope Expansion Bill Set for House VoteLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/naturopath_scope_expansion_bill_set_for_house_vote<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Logos/Megaphone-Evergreen-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 23, 2020</h5> <h2> Naturopath Scope Expansion Bill Eligible for House Vote </h2> <p> </p> <p> A perennial issue for physicians - the <a href="[@]WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Scope_Of_Practice/Scope_Of_Practice_General.aspx">expansion of non-physician scope of practice without the requisite education or training</a> - has reared its head again this session. </p> <p> <a href="https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?Year=2019&BillNumber=1630">House Bill 1630</a>, legislation held over from 2019 and strongly opposed by the WSMA, was made eligible for a vote in the House this week (the vote is pending at the time of this writing). The bill would grant naturopaths prescriptive authority for Schedule III-V drugs, without detailing specific education and training requirements, and require a "practice agreement" with a physician - requiring physicians to supervise naturopaths - while leaving the term undefined and potentially ripe for abuse. If passed by the Legislature, HB 1630 will jeopardize patient safety, increase the proliferation of potentially dangerous prescription drugs, and blur the lines between care provided by physicians and naturopaths. <strong>Our bottom line:</strong> Ensuring access to care is a legitimate issue, but it should be addressed through more responsible means <strong> - </strong> such as increasing medical residencies and providing incentives for members of our existing workforce to increase their Medicaid patient panels. </p> <p> Thank you to all the WSMA members who responded to our call to action this week urging a "no" vote from House lawmakers. If you haven't yet contacted your representatives, <a href="https://takeaction.wsma.org/act-now-to-stop-expansion-of-naturopath-scope-of-practice/" target="_blank">do so today</a>. We will continue keeping you apprised of developments pending the outcome of the House vote. </p> </div>1/23/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
physicians_in_washington_and_nationally_advocate_for_stronger_gun_violence_policyPhysicians in Washington and Nationally Advocate for Stronger Gun Violence PolicyLatest_NewsShared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/physicians_in_washington_and_nationally_advocate_for_stronger_gun_violence_policy<div class="col-md-12"> <div class="col-md-5 pull-right" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/images/Concepts/gun_safety-645x425px.jpg" class="pull-right" /> </div> <h5> January 23, 2020</h5> <h2> Physicians in Washington and Nationally Advocate for Stronger Gun Violence Policy </h2> <p> </p> <p> With several <a href="[@]Shared_Content/News/Membership_Memo/20200123/legislative_session_week_one_highlights.aspx">gun violence and injury prevention bills recently introduced in the Legislature</a>, here's a brief reminder of related policy recommendations around which national organized medicine has reached consensus, and a review of actions taken by the <a href="[@]WSMA/About_Us/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/WSMA/About/Leadership/House_of_Delegates/House_of_Delegates.aspx?hkey=e2c50002-384d-4ff7-9116-5ce7a51116e7">WSMA House of Delegates</a> on gun violence during its October meeting. </p> <h3> Firearm injury and death: A call to action from national organized medicine </h3> <p> Leading national physician organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, and American Psychiatric Association, recently published specific policy recommendations that the organizations believe can reduce firearm-related injury and death in the United States. The recommended policies take a public health approach to reducing gun violence, integrating medical, public health, and legal perspectives. Specific policy recommendations address: </p> <ul> <li>Background checks for firearm purchases.</li> <li>Need for research on firearm injury and death.</li> <li>Intimate partner violence.</li> <li>Safe storage of firearms.</li> <li>Mental health.</li> <li>Extreme risk protection orders.</li> <li>Physician counseling of patients and "gag laws."</li> <li>Firearms with features designed to increase their rapid and extended killing capacity.</li> </ul> <p> Policy details can be found in the article "<a href="https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2748085/firearm-related-injury-death-united-states-call-action-from-nation">Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From the Nation's Leading Physician and Public Health Professional Organizations</a>," published Oct. 15, 2019, in the in the Annals of Internal Medicine. </p> <h3> New WSMA House of Delegates policy on firearm injury and death </h3> <p> Endorsing the call to action from national organized medicine was one of several gun violence policies adopted by the WSMA House of Delegates at its annual meeting last October. The full text of "Resolution C-23 – Reducing Firearm-Related Injury and Death, 2019 Updates," is below. WSMA leadership and staff use policy passed by the House of Delegates when taking positions on legislation and other policy being debated by policymakers. </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <strong>C-23 – Reducing Firearm-Related Injury and Death, 2019 Updates</strong> <strong>(ADOPTED AS AMENDED)</strong> </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA support and help publicize the interspecialty statement on "Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action From the Nation's Leading Physician and Public Health Professional Organizations" or the current best policy. (Directive to Take Action); and BE IT FURTHER </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA support research to help us understand and reduce the multi-factorial causes and consequences of firearm-related injury and death (New HOD Policy); and BE IT FURTHER </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA support policy that would prohibit those guilty of violence against a family member or intimate partner - including dating partners, cohabitants, stalkers, and those who victimize any family member - from purchasing or possessing firearms (Reaffirm HOD Policy); and BE IT FURTHER </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA support improved access to mental health care, while cautioning against broadly including all individuals with a mental health or substance use disorder in a category of individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms (New HOD Policy); and BE IT FURTHER </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA note the life-saving impact of prior laws against certain types of rapid-fire weapons and high-capacity magazines, and calls for responsible regulation of weapons and weapon accessories whose unique use is the killing of large numbers in short time periods (Reaffirm HOD Policy); and BE IT FURTHER </p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> RESOLVED, that the WSMA reaffirm existing "Guns and Weapons" policy on "<a href="http://www.wsma.org/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Guns_And_Weapons/Background_Checks_And_Waiting_Periods.aspx">Background Checks and Waiting Periods</a>"; on "<a href="http://www.wsma.org/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Guns_And_Weapons/Children.aspx">Children</a>"; on "<a href="http://www.wsma.org/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Guns_And_Weapons/Extreme_Risk_Protection_Orders.aspx">Extreme Risk Protection Orders</a>"; on "<a href="http://www.wsma.org/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Guns_And_Weapons/Gun_Control.aspx">Gun Control</a>"; and on "<a href="http://www.wsma.org/WSMA/About/Policies/Whats_Our_Policy/Guns_And_Weapons/Gun_Safety_Education.aspx">Gun Safety Education</a>". (Reaffirm HOD Policy) </p> <p> For more information on WSMA policy, contact the WSMA's new policy department at <a href="mailto:policy@wsma.org">policy@wsma.org</a>. </p> </div>1/23/2020 12:00:00 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
 

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